1-18 - Movie Review: The DEATHS OF IAN STONELionsgate

“Your watch. After you left for work this morning, it stopped, didn’t it? Whenever a clock stops, they’re coming.”

On an otherwise ordinary night, the young Ian Stone encounters a mysterious creature and is forced into the path of an oncoming train. Rather than facing certain death, Ian finds himself reborn into a new life that feels strangely familiar. After his second death, it becomes apparent that Ian is being hunted by an evil presence, and will be forced to die every day until he can solve the mystery of his own life.

One of the entries in the 2007 After Dark Horrorfest, The Deaths Of Ian Stone is a bit different than the general spate of supernatural horror flicks that have been clogging my media player as of late. And in this instance, it’s a good thing.

Here, we have our protagonist–the titular Ian Stone–a young college-aged ice hockey enthusiast and player, driving home after a loss on the ice, only to stop to help someone passed out on the train tracks and loose his own life. Normally, that would signify the end of a very short movie. In this case, Ian immediately comes to in an office cubicle, where he’s a bit older and living with his girlfriend, and surrounded by a number of oddly familiar faces. He’s then confronted by an old guy who tells him he’s constantly being hunted by things called “Harvesters” for some reasion, and every time they kill him, he wakes up in a new version of his life, to repeat the cycle. Then he immediately gets killed, and wake up a heroin junkie in a gheto apartment. Of course. Throughout all of this, a girl named Jenny has been featuring in all of these lives of his. So, he manages to convince Jenny of what has been going on, he runs into the old guy again, who fills in some more of the mystery surrounding him and the things that are hunting him, and then he’s finally captured by the Hunters, who try and get him to embrace his true nature as a Hunter himself. Then a mighty struggle between his true nature and true love ensues. Try and guess which one wins out in the end, yes?

The Deaths Of Ian Stone is a rather interesting entry in the Afterdark Film Fest series, as it’s every part a psychological thriller mystery as it is a supernatural horror film. For the most part, the actors who play the protagonists were rather good in their rolls, especially Vogel, who played the titular Ian Stone becoming self-aware of his situation. This makes the whole “love conquers all” thing a bit more digestible. On the other hand, the actors portraying the antagonists who are constantly hunting Ian start off menacing, but as time goes on and by the third reel they come off as your standard hammy over-the-top villains with a serious Matrix cosplay fetish. Seriously, I kept expecting the guys to break out the Kraftwerk and shouting “Ve vant our MONEY, Lebowski!”

Regardless, The Deaths Of Ian Stone was a rather decent and entertaining horror flick that’s a bit different from the usual offerings in the series. It’s worth checking out some night.